Wednesday, October 1, 2014

COLORADO CACHING - PART 1



Off on the new mount.

I have chosen to begin motocaching (Geocaching on a motorcycle) Colorado as my next state.  The reason for this choice is that my son Yancey lives in the Denver area and can join me on the trips.  All of my other trips except for the first one were done on my 2009 Triumph Street Triple R.  It’s a fantastic bike but not designed for touring.  After a considerable amount of research I purchased a 2012 BMW F800ST which is a sport touring bike.  Although it is a little bigger than the Triumph it is very maneuverable, offers good wind protection and has factory expandable luggage that is super.  I had the seat lowered a couple of inches to make it easier to maneuver when stopping for geocaches where the terrain is often rough and uneven.

Yancey has a new job and didn’t feel he could take time off in August as originally planned so we postponed the trip until the second weekend in September.  That time slot would allow me to get in a week of dove hunting and still be back for the start of chukar season in Idaho.  (I had a great week of dove hunting but not so good on the chukar opener.) 

I left town Wednesday, the 9th, heading south on highway 95 and then highway 55 to Boise.  The temperature was mild and pleasant.  I made a couple of quick stops on the White Bird hill to get some caches and stopped in the Riggins park for a mid morning break.  I gave Kathy a call to let her know where I was.

It seemed to take forever to get through Boise.  By this time it was hot and it seemed like I hit every light red going from Highway 55 to Interstate 84.  Then on the east edge of Boise the eastbound lane of the Interstate was closed due to construction and a slow detour was necessary.  The Interstate speed limit in Idaho and Utah is now 80 mph which is crazy.  (Can you believe I said that?)  At Glens Ferry I left the Interstate and got on old Highway 30 heading toward son Clint’s place.  I stopped at the King Hill Cemetery to pick up a cache.  The wind was really blowing but fortunately it was a tailwind.  I arrived at Clint’s in Gooding around 5:00 pm which was a surprise to Clint and Elisha because Clint wasn’t expecting me until Friday.  Nevertheless, I was made welcome as always.

I was on the road just after daybreak the next morning.  I don’t know which is worse, battling a head wind or the sun blazing right in your eyes.  A motorcycle doesn’t have a sun visor.  At any rate, I battled that bright sun in my eyes for about 80 miles until I turned southeast toward Salt Lake.  I made a stop for a cache just off the Interstate but wasn’t successful.  I did find one a little later at a Rest Area which was very welcome.  It wasn’t actually in the Rest Area and I had to climb a fence to get to it.  It was getting very warm and I stopped for another find at Rattlesnake Pass.  Like some others this one was attractive because of the cool name.  My GPS was acting up and it took a while to find it.  Soon after, I turned east toward Evanston, WY, and my planned day’s destination of Rock Springs on Interstate 80.  I stopped at another Rest Area for a rather unusual cache.  This Rest Area was at the base of a hill and you could hike up a rather steep trail where there was a small bench with one lone picnic table under a little tree.  The cache was located up there.

I got in to the Rock Springs Super 8 around 3:30 pm and unpacked.  I had planned a whole series of caches called Wild Horses Run just northwest of Rock Springs.  I made my way out there and it wasn’t a big surprise when I found the route was not paved.  I abandoned that idea and found two or three caches not too far from the motel.  One was a nice one that required hiking up a rocky hill that gave a good view of the town.  I ate dinner at Dickey’s Barbeque and it was as good as any I’ve ever had.  I wish there was one close to home.

I stay at Super 8’s frequently and usually find them to my liking.  This one did not have good ratings but I decided to chance it anyway – bad idea.  The help was not friendly, it took them a half hour to get my TV to work, they would not give me a receipt until the next morning and the breakfast was not up to Super 8’s usual standards.
Lunch at Steamboat Springs
I knew it was going to be a bit chilly the next morning but I had no idea how much.  When I left the motel around 7:00 am it was sunny and about 43 degrees.  Like most newer autos my motorcycle has a gauge for ambient air temperature that I really like.  When you’re traveling 75-80 mph on a motorcycle that’s pretty chilly.  I hadn’t gone too far before I saw one of the electronic warning signs that we should reduce speed due to poor visibility about 30 miles ahead and I could see this huge fog bank in the distance.  Then the temperature began falling.  By the time I hit the fog it was 34 degrees.  Visibility was poor and I was afraid of going too slow for fear of getting run over.  I was continually wiping my visor so I could see.  I did make one welcome stop just off the Interstate to pick up a cache.  Just past Wamsutter I turned south on Hwy 789 and eventually got back into the sunshine and warmer weather.  I stopped at one cache that required a hike out in the desert but I welcomed the opportunity to get a little exercise and warm up.  I ate my sardine lunch at the Steamboat Springs Community Center Park in sunshine and pleasant 72 degree weather.  I called Yancey from there as he had asked me to check in with him.

Dinner at Yancey's
I had some pleasant riding for quite a while until I reached the point where Highway 9 intersects I-70 just past Silverthorn.  At that point I ran into the worst traffic jam I have ever experienced.  All the traffic was channeled from three lanes down to one.  It was hot and slightly uphill and when the cars would move it was so slow I would have to stop and move to
Blanche & Abe
keep my balance.  This went on for miles.  I must have been jammed up for an hour in those miserable conditions.  After we finally got moving a bit I stopped at Georgetown for gas and an unsuccessful attempt on a cache.  Not too long after getting back on I-70 it became cloudy and by the time I reached Idaho Springs I noticed the on coming traffic using windshield wipers.  At that point I pulled off and put on some rain gear.  I soon got into the rain which didn’t particularly bother me but as I got into the Denver area (just at rush hour) I hit the traffic jams again.  It wasn’t as bad as previously but it was still plenty bad.  I believe it was about 6:30 before I arrived at Yancey’s. [To be continued] 
M/W




2 comments:

Hallie said...

The worst traffic you've EVER experienced?? Worse than when you were in Seattle with 5 different events happening at the same time?

Cute doggies.

Mike said...

Yes, Hallie. In fact I mentioned to the family that until then the Seattle experience had been the worst. I am not a big city guy.